The uncapped trio of Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana and Chetan Sakariya are looking to imbibe the traits of Rahul Dravid – the player, person and coach – during India’s tour of Sri Lanka.
As many as six uncapped players are part of the India squad for the series beginning in Colombo on July 18. NCA chief Dravid is head coach on the tour with the Test team and main group of support staff currently in the UK.
India will take on Sri Lanka in the limited overs series, comprising three ODIs and as many T20s, beginning from July 18, delayed by a few days due to the Covid-19 cases in the hosts camp.
Here’s what the players told Star Sports about learning from Rahul Dravid:
“Each and every individual in the India A side or the juniors going into the Indian team have been fortunate to go through a person called Rahul Dravid. We are very lucky to learn our cricket from him. I remember going to the Rajasthan Royals trials one day – I batted really well – and he came up to me and asked me a question ‘can you play for my team?’. So, that was the biggest moment of my life, and I can never forget that. That shows how great a human being he is, and I really enjoy his company.”
“Being from the same school, the first time I actually met him was in one of our sports day events at school, where I had to present him with a bouquet – that is when I spoke to him for the first time. I have always been awestruck by how incredibly calm and gentle a human being he is. To have achieved so much in cricket and to be so down to earth, humble and kind towards everyone is incredible to watch. To have him as our coach, you couldn’t ask for anything more and to have a mentor like him beside you, it’s just a great feeling, and hopefully, I can pick up a lot of things from him.”
“I have heard that Rahul Dravid as a coach is similar to Rahul Dravid as a player. I wish I could bring even one per cent of the patience he has within me; it will be a big achievement for me.”
“I would want to learn how he was so determined when the opposing teams like Australia and England; played dominant cricket. I want to understand how he troubled them and how he could achieve so much with sheer determination. I want to learn and understand the process which goes behind that mindset.”
(Quotes courtesy: Star Sports’ show Follow The Blues)